In the early days of this blog, I enjoyed using celebrity estate-planning blunders to illustrate what not to do in terms of your own planning. I’ve been thinking a lot about that series lately, particularly as stories about the “Free Britney” movement have inundated my news feeds. Of course, Britney Spears is not the first celebrity to lose control over her personal and financial decisions, and this happens on a lower-profile basis near-daily in Courts across the country.
Remember Amanda Bynes? This former child star had a seemingly bright future ahead of her, until she was derailed by mental health and substance abuse issues. She was in and out of treatment, and in 2013 she went on a series of Twitter rants calling other celebrities “ugly.” At around that time, her mother sought and obtained Conservatorship over her. In California, this takes two forms: Conservatorship of the Person (under Massachusetts law, this is a “Guardianship”) and Conservatorship of the Estate (under Massachusetts law, this is a “Conservatorship”). Stories have popped up over the years with various controversies between Amanda and her mother as to both financial and personal affairs, highlighting in a very public way the issues that many conservatees (also known as protected persons, or wards, depending on the jurisdiction and the context) face. A few observations:
Until next time!